By Janeen Ellsworth
What do you do with all that yummy juice that's left in your empty jar of pickled beets?
You don't waste it. You make salad dressing, of course!
I whipped up a batch of this yummy pink goodness last week and everyone in the family loved it over greens and fresh veggies--especially my five-year-old who NEVER eats salads.
Tip: It went really well with spicy arugula and a bit of feta cheese.
(*Wondering why I didn't pickle my own dang beets like a good Reductionist? Truth is, my daughter is on a beet kick. She can't get enough of 'em. When a picky kid magically and suddenly approves of a new and interesting food, we parents do a victory dance and keep feeding that new hunger. We've pickled a-plenty here, mostly my husband makes broccoli stem pickles. But our pickling spices are "too flavorful" for the girl's taste. So, jarred beets are a case of convenience, time, efficiency and kid nourishment winning over the DIY approach.)
Here's how to make my Sweet & Tangy Beet Juice Vinaigrette:
1 C olive oil
1/4 C vinegar (I like to do half apple cider vinegar + half white wine, but red wine vinegar or balsamic work great here, too)
2 T to 1/4 C leftover juice from that empty jar of pickled beets in the back of your fridge (adjust to taste; remember that stuff is usually super SWEET)
1 decent-sized clove of garlic, minced
2 tsp. stone ground or dijon mustard
A few sprigs of fresh parsley
Salt & pepper to taste
Use an immersion blender to mix well, and enjoy this sweet, tangy, pink gem over fresh greens:)
By Janeen Ellsworth
Eliminating cereal from my daily routine was something I never thought I could do. Shredded wheat, granola, Chex! They were my morning salvation. My daily fuel for the last 42 years!
But as my blood sugar dips grew more and more severe--I noticed that, even after eating a big cereal breakfast, I was hangry by 10 a.m., dizzy-nauseous if I waited 'til noon for lunch--I began to wonder if all this talk about carbs messing with people's ability to stay satiated had a ring of truth to it.
So, about a month ago, I delved into what could, quite fairly, be called a Torture Regimen, by some. I consulted my sister and bro-in-law, who have been living totally carb-free for the last six months.
Eric and Gael are as healthy as can be. They have beautiful skin now, and are trim trim trim.
They gave me some meal ideas and links to helpful experts in the Keto field, which I consulted with a skeptical eye, such Dr. Bosworth and her info-rich YouTube channel.
But, willing to give it a try, I went Keto. For a little while. Which meant giving up some classic favorites, like that mound of cereal I was jamming into my face every single morning.
I had to summon a solemn 'no thanks' to the scalloped potatoes and butter-drizzled dinner rolls at Easter. In silent anguish, I passed on the unbelievable-looking nigella naan that was served with our scrumptious thali at Seattle's famous Poppy restaurant. I even skipped family pizza night. Pizza night, people!
On the up side, I immediately felt less bloated and even lost a pound or three within the first coupla days. No joke. I may have earned it back since then (not eager to jump on any scales at the moment), but at least I still don't feel as lousy as I had been feeling in the gut. All that SWUB we middle-aged cougs are famous for, you know.
Also, I stopped having that hangry, shaky, nauseous feeling by 10 a.m., even by noon. I was good 'n hungry, don't get me wrong. But not sickly so.
Even cooler, I was introduced to new foods. Eating is fun again, because it's a challenge, especially when my kids keep asking me why I won't take the rice, the noodles, the bread on my gosh darn sandwich!
Stand back, evildoers!
Which is how I was ultimately shown the magical ways of flax seeds. And sunflower seeds. Because, dude, you can make 'em into crackers. I kid you not.
Huge thanks to my brother-in-law Eric who invented this. I really appreciate his willingness to share his Keto secrets with me and even give me permission to pass them along to you.
And so, my dear friends, behold:
Keto Flax "Crackers," the recipe!
2 Cups raw, whole flax seeds
1 to 1 1/2 Cups water
1 T avocado oil (or coconut, or olive, or none!)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 T sesame seeds, plus more for sprinkling
Step 1) Grind flax seeds. I do mine in a coffee grinder. Super fast & easy.
Step 2) Pour flax meal into a bowl and add water. Stir until smooth. It'll be goopy.
Step 3) Sprinkle in sesame seeds, salt, and oil (if using).
Step 4) Mix well, then spread onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment. (I use an icing spreader spatula thingy. Works great.) Go ahead and sprinkle a few more sesames on top. They're pretty and wonderful. Press them into your 'dough.'
Step 5) Bake at 200 degrees for 4 hours.
*Note: The low temp and long, slow cook time ensures the flax doesn't go 'rancid,' as some claim can happen at higher temperatures, allegedly releasing all kinds of nasty free radicals into your body. Not sure it's true, but stay on the safe side and keep it low.
Step 6) Remove from oven and, while the pan is still warm, use a butter knife to slice a grid of squares into your flax cracker sheet. Slide the whole darn batch, using your parchment, onto a cooling rack, and allow them to cool until they get a lil' crispy.
Or don't. Just go 'head and eat 'em. They're delic--um...--really mealy. And almost like crackers...and kinda even pretty good, after you get used to 'em! They are extremely filling, I'll give you that!
But the best news yet? They're carb free! (Just don't go overboard, as with anything.)
Top 'em with avocado slices or smoked turkey breast or tahini and feta, or dip 'em in hummus. Sky's the limit, baby. Store them in the fridge, too--again, to avoid the potential for them going rancid.
What's even cooler is that you can follow this EXACT SAME recipe swapping sunflower seeds for flax. Start with the raw, unsalted kind. Only don't grind 'em in your coffee grinder. Use a food processor instead. I use cocoa butter instead of avocado there and that adds a nice island flavor;) Now those--those little suckers are to die for!
Let me know if you give these a try. What'd you think? what'd you put on 'em?
Read more about how to incorporate flax into your diet at HealthyFlax.org!
(Oh, and I'm mostly still Keto these days. Only I can't stop eating chocolate. Somewhere I read that a piece of 70% dark per day is passable. Let's just say I'm hitting it a little harder than that, but a gal's gotta stay sane, don't she?!)
Til next time, enjoy!
I'm Janeen; writer, mother, wife, and full-time, radical Reductionist. I share stupid-easy tips on how to save money while reducing your impact on the environment, & I'm committed to helping others live a life of simple sustainability.
Toss a Quarter in my Tip Jar?
Bringing you engaging content & resource-rich info makes my heart sing, truly! I manage this website on my own time & with my own money, so if you like what you see here and would like to support my work, I'd be honored to accept any generous donation you deem worthy. I look forward to bringing you more valuable green tips in the months & years to come, if you would consider leaving me a tip of your own! Thank you for being here and being you!